Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sacrificial Flour Packet

To prevent pulverisation of breakfast cereal.
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

When cereals turn to dust in their bags, it annoys me greatly. Not eating it is a waste, but mixing with milk produces an unappetising mud-like substance.

Naturally, the cereal at the bottom of the packet turns to dust first, leaving the rest of the cereal safe.

I propose a packet of wheat added at the bottom of the normal packet, which in time becomes crushed in lieu of the cereal.

This packet can be reused for further cereal, and once fully pulverised (and hence no longer useful) you can empty the packet and use it as flour.

dbmag9, Jan 13 2008

The "Brazil Nut Effect" http://en.wikipedia...i/Brazil_nut_effect
[hippo, Jan 14 2008]

The "Brazil Nut Effect" http://news.bbc.co....ci/tech/1655558.stm
"One explanation, which is not wrong, is that convection forces raise everything to the top, then strand big particles at the top." [hippo, Jan 14 2008]


       This will not fail to be unsuccessful. The fragmentation of a cereal flake is, essentially, a stochastic and quantum- like event. If you monitor any given flake, the time at which it will decay is entirely unpredictable. Nevertheless, the overall process is such that a large collection of flakes in a packet will have a characteristic half-life. Hence, after one half-life interval, 50% of the flakes will have disintegrated. After a further half-life interval, 50% of those remaining (75% in total) will have disintegrated, and so on. There is no way to tell when the very last flake will disintegrate, though probabilistic inferences can be made.   

       The reason it's always the bits in the bottom that are broken is very simple: small fragments generated throughout the corpus of the packet invariably settle through the gaps in their intact brethren, and hence accumulate at the bottom. There is a 1/e phenomenon at work, obviously.   

       So, your suggestion of placing some pre-pulverised flakes at the bottom of the packet is rather like trying to slow the decay of strontium-90 by adding a dose of yttrium-90, alas.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2008

       Use cereal dust in your next tempura, schnitzel, or similarly fried item, coating. Rice cereals go well with tempura, corns with schnitzel type, wheats, well with anything. Or wait for the world to stop spinning. That way gravity will relax, or invert, (as per [zen_tom]) and then the dust will be evenly spread throughout your cereal box. Of course, you will be equally spread out upon your ceiling.
4whom, Jan 13 2008

       Manufacturers should be mandated to advertise the half-life of the cereal contained.
4whom, Jan 13 2008

       // mixing with milk produces an unappetising mud-like substance. //   

       Not if you then fry it.
8th of 7, Jan 13 2008

       Who's calling mud 'unappetising'??
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2008

       Eat cereal like Weetabix, it's in a compressed form, made from small flakes, so it doesn't disintegrate so easily. It's a UK product, but I'm a US person, and I find it easily here.
drememynd, Jan 13 2008

       Simple solution: open the cereal package starting at the bottom. This will mix the dust and crumbs in with the whole flakes, making them less noticeable.   

       8th, isn't that how Pringles were invented?   

       UB - tell the kids it's candy (which wouldn't be far from the truth if it's a sugar-coated cereal to begin with).
Canuck, Jan 13 2008

       My aunt doesn't keep pigeons.   

       Oh. Never mind.
Canuck, Jan 13 2008

       But the dust is my favorite part.
Spacecoyote, Jan 14 2008

       //[MB] The reason it's always the bits in the bottom that are broken is very simple: small fragments generated throughout the corpus of the packet invariably settle through the gaps in their intact brethren, and hence accumulate at the bottom.// - Otherwise known as the "Brazil Nut Effect" (see links) - a fantasticaly subtle interplay of inter-aggregate convection currents and how these act on particles within the aggregate of different sizes.
hippo, Jan 14 2008

       "Packed by weight, not volume. Contents may settle during transit"
8th of 7, Jan 14 2008

       This idea is based on questionable premises. -
nomocrow, Jan 15 2008

       This idea has been *posted* on questionable premises
4whom, Jan 15 2008

       8th of 7: around here, contents unsettle.
dbmag: if this actually works, will we start seeing sacrificial eggs in egg cartons, etc.?
DrCurry, Jan 15 2008

       Wouldn't sacrificing eggs be some form of idolatry, like burnt offerings ? Or just an overcooked breakfast ?
8th of 7, Jan 15 2008

       Skiers and skydivers could carry a little bag of broken bones.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 15 2008

       ... formerly known as their "legs"
8th of 7, Jan 15 2008

       I was interested to learn of the Brazil Nut Effect, however, I thought the Flake Half-life explanation was far, far more poignant.
xrayTed, Jan 16 2008

       Until about halfway through this idea, I thought this would be a plan to create some sort of dough from the remaining cereal dust.
shapu, Jan 16 2008

       //This idea has been *posted* on questionable premises//   

nomocrow, Jan 16 2008

       I was not clear if the proposed flour packet was supposed to work via physical principles, or supernatural principles.
bungston, Jan 16 2008

       We have no truck with the supernatural here.
8th of 7, Jan 16 2008

       But there are a few mopeds.
bungston, Jan 16 2008

       Is there an echo in here?
Canuck, Jan 17 2008

       "No answer" came the stern reply .....
8th of 7, Jan 17 2008


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